Hazim Bitar Films
Hazim Bitar is a producer, writer, and director, and visual artist.. He founded the Amman Filmmakers Cooperative, which served as the launching pad for some of Jordan's leading independent filmmakers. Since its founding, the Amman Filmmakers Cooperative has provided free cinema education and production services to hundreds in disadvantaged areas.
His credits include numerous award-winning documentaries and films; his cooperative has produced short films that have been selected to various Academy-certified short film festivals. His filmography includes Fish Above Sea Level (2011), The View (2008), Overdose (2005), Growing Up in Amman's Suburbia (2006), Sharar (2006), Jerusalem's High Cost of Living (2000), and Uncivil Liberties (1999).
Bitar is the founder and director of the Jordan Short Film Festival (JSFF), established in 2005 with the main purpose of giving voice to Jordanian indie filmmakers. Though small in size, the festival quickly evolved into a regional player through which numerous independent Arab and other filmmakers have made their debut on the international film festival circuit.
He is invited frequently to international forums to speak on independent cinema of the South. In 2007, L' Institute Français du Proche-Orient, a prominent French think tank on the Middle East, named Bitar as one of 27 influential Jordanian cultural figures. Bitar served on the international jury of the academy-certified Tampere International Film Festival and Huesca Film Festival.
His entry into filmmaking has roots in civil and human rights activism. He produced a number of documentaries in support of United Nations projects with focus on refugees and women issues.
AWARDS & GRANTS (PARTIAL)
- Best Short Film at the Middle East International Film Festival (2008) UAE.
- Best Short Documentary at Magma Film Festival (2007) Italy.
- Best Script at Taghit d'Or Film Festival (2008) Algiers.
- Best Script at the Jordan Short Film Festival (2008) Jordan.
- Special Merit Award at the Festival Int'l Del Cinema Di Salerno (2008) Italy.
- Best Short Film at the Isfaham Olive Film Festival(2009) Iran.
- Honorary Award at the National Coalition to Protect Political Freedoms (2001) USA
- Spanish Agency for Cultural Cooperation, Hope Films grant, 2006-2009
- French Cultural Center grant, 2005.
- Arab Fund for Arts and Cultural grant, 2009.
FESTIVALS (PARTIAL LIST)
- Tempere International Film Festival (Oscars-qualifying), 2005,2008,2009, 2011
- International Documentary Film Festival of Amsterdam, 2010,
- Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival (Oscar-qualifying), 2006- 2010
- Huesca International Film Festival (Oscars-qualifying), 2006
- Locarno International Film Festival (Oscars-qualifying), 2006-2007
- Foyle International Film Festival (Oscars-qualifying), 2006.
- Dubai International Film Festival, 2005.
- Middle East International Film Festival, AbuDhabi, 2008.
- Ismailia International Film Festival, 2005, 2006, 2008.
- Carthage International Film Festival, 2004, 2006.
- Jerash Festival, 2004.